There is a large Claudian villa of military design at Rowe Place Farm, Eccles (TQ7260), perhaps the residence of the exiled Adminius, when he returned following the Claudian invasion. The villa lies on the east side of the Medway Valley and was excavated between 1962 and 1976.

The earliest Roman villa dates from about 65 A.D. and consisted of a long row of at least 12 rooms, a porticus and probably a second story.Five of these rooms might once have contained floors with mosaics. In front of the house was a long ornamental pool. The building was of high status, as stone buildings were otherwise not so common at this early age in Roman Britain. A huge bath house was built next to it. In several rooms fragments of mosaics were found, most of them in a bad state of preservation. One of them most likely shows two gladiators.

In the second century AD, the villa was almost 112 m long. Over 135 different rooms have been identified throughout the various periods of construction and reconstruction. The villa was abandoned in the Fourth century and much of it was removed in the Thirteenth century for the construction of Aylesford Priory.

Other Buildings at Eccles

The temple stood 1 mile south of the crossing of the north-south road from Maidstone to Durobrivae (Rocester) with the North Downs Way (at TQ7462).

Another villa and Romano-British Barrow at Snodland (TQ6962) on the course of the North Downs Way.

Other substantial Roman buildings have been found in the immediate area at Wouldham (TQ7162) and Burham (TQ7261), and 3 miles south-east along the N.D.W. at Thurnham (TQ7957)

References for Eccles

Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001).

Map References for Eccles

NGRef: TQ7460 OSMap: LR178/188

Roman Roads near Eccles

N (5) to Dvrobrivae Cantiacorvm (Rochester, Kent) Pilgrims Way: W (22) to Titsey (Surrey) North Downs Way: ESE (35) to Folkestone (Kent) S (4) to Maidstone (Kent)

Sites near Eccles Claudian Villa